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Issue 64 February 2012

sac scouts newsletter

from the courtyard feature of the month

Scout enters Antarctic record books Given the recent cold spell we’ve been having, this month we look at some international news which involved a British scout setting a new record... Bryony Balen, a scouting adventurer, has become the youngest Briton to ski from the edge of the Antarctic landmass at the Hercules Inlet to the Geographic South Pole. Hostile but beautiful terrain The team of five adventurers – with different levels of experience – tackled some of the coldest and most hostile terrain in the world, with inclines of 3,000m. Most expeditions of this type allow 60 days and plan for 70, but Bryony's expedition took just 56 days to cover 1,135km. Temperatures of around minus 12 degrees Celsius were not the only challenges the team had to contend with. They faced white-out conditions, sastrugi (sharp ridges caused by snow erosion), and frozen condensation in their goggles blocking their vision. This was on top of sleep deprivation and the exhaustion of skiing for eight hours a day while lugging ski sleds full of tents and equipment, plus a 60kg backpack containing food and supplies. Be prepared As a scout, Bryony knows that preparation is everything. The expedition took a total of three and a half years to plan, including taking a year out from her geography studies at Newcastle University: ' focus on a fierce training regime and prepare myself mentally and physically for the challenge ahead.' Alongside the physical fitness training at her university sports centre, Bryony had to ensure her body could cope with the expedition by putting on nearly 20kg. The planning phase also included calculating how many calories they would need to feed the team for the total number of days, plus the logistics of packing it all onto their sleds. There was mental motivation to consider too, and, as Bryony’s aim was to raise funds for charity, a fundraising partner also had to be found in difficult economic times. Historic footsteps Bryony celebrated her 21st birthday while on the expedition. The team also took time out to remember the groundbreaking adventurers whose legendary footsteps they were following. They paused on 17 January, the date that marked 100 years since Captain Scott’s ill-fated Terra Nova expedition reached the Pole. Building an adventure Bryony says the expedition built on her enthusiasm for outdoor activities and personal challenges. She credits its success to her previous experience of teamwork, preparation for other expeditions she has organised, as well as the challenges undertaken for the Queen’s scout award which she is currently completing. Bryony rightly acknowledges: 'I think it's safe to say I'll never have a boring life!' Article reproduced from

Issue 64 February 2012

from the courtyard

GSL’s note Subscription forms and other data Another reminder – those members that have not yet paid their subscription fee should do so as soon as possible. Please co-operate. Activities this month So far this month two important activities were organised according to our plans. On February 10th the Troop organised a rafting event at Mistra Bay whereas the Pack held a day hike in the Verdala/Girgenti area for cubs on the 12th. In the meantime the AGSL and myself are attending an Internet Safety Course to learn more about problems our members can face when using internet related technologies. Other members will also be participating in leadership, food handling and first aid courses in the coming weeks. Easter Camp Easter Camp is confirmed for the Verdala Palace Grounds between April 1st and the 7th. Camp actually starts on Monday for the troop. Pack dates will be advised by Akela. Campfire or gangshow is being organized probably on Saturday 7th however we will confirm in the coming weeks. The Annual Parade The annual parade will take place on May 6th. More details will follow by the beginning of April. Congrats due…….and anniversaries This month, Stefan Pullicono (Akela) celebrates ten years as a leader with the Pack while Pierre Sant, Jackie Melillo and Edward Sciberras have reached five years. I too have reached a milestone I never expected or hoped to achieve. I have now been a leader with the Group for twenty years. I got my first appointment in 1991 and before that I had been with the Group for a further nine years. I’ve enjoyed most of scouting experiences I have been through and I am sure my fellow colleagues feel the same as otherwise they wouldn’t be around week in week out. I guess scouting does help people develop a better character and I wouldn’t know what things would have been like if I never joined. One thing for sure - I know what those that have never been a Scout with SAC have missed!


from the courtyard

Hiking in the cold

Issue 64 February 2012

On Sunday 12th February, the Cub Scout Pack met at 9.00am in front of the Verdala Castle entrance for a promising day of fun and hiking. The hike kicked off as soon as everybody arrived and took us from Verdala to Girgenti and a couple of snack breaks on the way. From Girgenti we reached Laferla Cross (Salib tal-G침olja) and the adjacent Annunciation Chapel where the cubs were given 5 minutes to make a rough estimate of the height of the cross. We had a breathtaking view from up there, being 300m above sea level.

From the Pack

Our longest checkpoint was reaching Buskett Gardens. Here, we had a treasure hunt and by this time it had started drizzling, however, with raincoats and hoods on, this did not stop the cubs from running around to find the clues in what had

eventually become mud! We sought shelter under the trees until it stopped drizzling and carried on with some other games and relay races, Frisbee games and a 20 cub pile-up on Simon Gauci, a Rover who gave a helping hand that day. From here we headed to Dingli and finally back to the pick-up point at Verdala Castle. We had beautiful sunny weather with a few drizzles here and there that did not stop us from enjoying our cold afternoon in the countryside! Marina Buffa Hathi


From the Troop

from the courtyard


Issue 64 February 2012

Rafting challenge

We started meeting at Mistra Bay at 10:30. When all the scouts arrived the leaders whistled a Fall In and told us all the details of the following activity. Basically we had to build our rafts out of pallets, spars, barrels and last but not least ropes. During the races we couldn’t touch the water firstly because it was freezing cold and secondly because every time we touched the water some of our points would be deducted. In the middle of our building time rain started pouring so we had to get into the truck until it stopped. After 2 hours of hard work all 4 rafts were built: The Tigers’ Raft, The Buffs’ Raft, The Bulls’ Raft and The Hounds’ and Wolves’ Raft, who were joined together due to lack of members. We were told to steer our rafts to a given location, opposite to that where we built them. The leaders told us that the first team to steer their rafts back to the building area was the winner. As soon as the whistle sounded we were off. The Hounds and the Wolves had a good lead which was decreased because a member fell off and was soaked throughout. Then the Tigers took the lead and with all the determined members began to row as if their life depended on it. Due to the large amount of wind and the strong current the other 3 rafts, instead of going forwards, started going backwards. The Tigers were the only ones who managed to get to the finishing point so they were declared the winners. The leaders, using the Tigers’ Raft went to help the other patrols get to land. In the end parents started arriving, to pick up their children. It was a very exciting day for every one of us especially for the ones who unfortunately got soaked!! Daniel Farrugia Hound PL

from the courtyard

Issue 64 February 2012

New patrols

We would like to congratulate the scouts who have gone up to the Venture Section while thanking them for the service given to the Troop section. We would like to welcome the new Patrol leaders and Assistant Patrol Leaders and we look forward to work with them in the coming months. The Troop Leaders

From the Troop (contd.)



Matthew Spiteri Chris Vassallo Luke Abela Daniel Busuttil Julian Darmanin Thomas Galea Adam Vella Cardona Kurt Ciangura Daniel Pace Andrew Fenech Nathan Fenech Keith Micallef Nathan Zammit

Bulls Andre Mousu David Fenech Andrea Gatt Brandon Caruana Maximillian Evers Hayden Leigh Pisani Gerald Sammut Giorgi Anastasi Luke Cassola Michael Psaila Daniel Vancell Paul Zammit Antonio Scardino Craig Bonello James Caruana

Wolves Andre Causon Stefano Sicari Sacha Tayyar Barnes Keith Bunce Douglas Camilleri G. Christopher Friggieri Paolo Bezzina Shaun Mamo Thomas Zerafa Peter Galea St. John Daniel Farrugia Haden Leigh Pisani Dylan Mifsud Baron

Hounds Daniel Farrugia Michele Agius Nathanael Schembri Simon Fenech Matthias Bartolo Ben Bezzina Andrea Cuschieri Chris Vassallo Jamie Grech Gianluca Hili Nigel Bunce Alex Xuereb Matteo Alessandro

Tigers Neill Zammit Julian Farrugia Ian Zammit Matthew Vassallo Stephen Galea Isaac Callejja Nigel Grech Daniel Mallia Jonathan Pace

from the courtyard


Issue 64 February 2012

From the Unit

During the course of the last month we had three Wednesdays when the Venture unit made and sold homemade cupcakes. We decided to make cupcakes since they are easy to make and we thought they were a better idea than the doughnuts as we would make them ourselves. Liam who was taking care of the cupcakes had recently become involved with the Cubs and hence did not have much time to spare with the Unit. Given that I’m following a cooking course and I had come up with the idea, I was assigned to make the eighty or so cupcakes!


On the day of the first sale I had to attend to an important basketball match and so missed the gobbling up of our cupcakes! This proved to be a bit different during our last attempt as we were left with quite a number of extra cakes. Perhaps the recipe needs to be tweaked a bit! Overall the cupcakes have been a success—they will be back after Easter! Luke Maistre Venture unit cook ( in progress!)

From the Courtyard - February 2012  

SAC Scout Group Newsletter February 2012. Edition 64.